- Institute of Gastroentrology and Hepatology
- Crohn’s Disease
WHAT IS CROHN’S DISEASE ?
Crohn’s Disease is an inflammation in the digestive tract followed by diarrhoea, fatigue, weight loss, and malnutrition. It basically involves any area in the digestive tract and varies from person to person. It affects the bowel tissue, can cause severe complications, and can threaten your life at times. There is no cure for Crohn’s disease but the remission can be attainted through therapies and medications for a long time.
WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS ?
Usually, it’s the ileum in the small intestine that is affected. In few others, it is the colon in the large intestine that is affected. Symptoms develop slowly and can be from mild to severe. They symptoms include :
- Diarrhoea : Intense abdominal pain and loose stools is a symptom of Crohn’s disease
- Fever and Fatigue : High fever accompanied with weakness. This is due to infection or an inflammation. You may experience tiredness and low in energy.
- Abdominal Pain and Cramping : Pain and cramping in the abdomen due to inflammation and ulceration
- Mouth Sores : Sores in the mouth
- Reduced Appetite and Weight Loss : Reduced ability to digest and absorb food. This leads to loss of weight.
- Perianal Disease : An inflammation in the fistula causes pain and sometimes drainage near the anus.
If you experience the above symptoms, you should visit your physician and discuss your issues with him for better clarity of your condition so that you get a treatment.
WHAT ARE THE CAUSES ?
Immune system and hereditary characters play a main role in the onset of the Crohn’s disease. Immune System: A viral infection or a bacterium too could be the cause where in the immune system attacks the digestive tract while it is trying to attack the virus or the bacterium Heredity: Genes play a role in Crohn’s disease. A family history of Crohn’s disease too can cause the disease in the patient, although such reports are rare.
WHAT ARE THE RISK FACTORS ?
The risk factors include :
Age : People who are under 30 are more susceptible
Ethnicity : Any ethnic group can get affected but people from Eastern Europe and the whites are more prone to get Crohn’s.
Family History : If any of your close relative has the disease then you are at risk
Smoking : Smoking cigars too can cause Crohn’s.
Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Medications: Ibuprofen and naproxen sodium can cause inflammation and may lead to Crohn’s.
Environmental Factors : A diet rich in fat may contribute in the onset of the disease. It’s the result of a sedentary lifestyle or life in an urban area.
WHAT ARE THE COMPLICATIONS ?
Crohn’s disease can cause the following complications:
Inflammation : Scarring and narrowing of the bowel wall
Bowel Obstruction : Bowel wall may thicken obstructing the digestive contents to pass through. A surgery may be needed to correct it
Ulcers : Sores in the mouth, anus, and genital area
Fistulas : Formation of fistulas between your skin and intestine. They are more common in anal area. These fistulas can threaten your health at times as they may get infected and form an abscess if it is not treated immediately
Anal Fissure : Fissures in the anal area can sometimes cause infections along with the pain during bowel movement
Malnutrition : Lack of appetite or weight loss due to the pain and abdominal cramps that makes you not want to eat enough
Colon Cancer : Crohn’s diseases affect your colon and hence your physician may ask you to get a colonoscopy every ten years if you are above 50
Others : It can also lead to liver disease, osteoporosis, and anaemia Medication Risks: It can also lead to lymphoma and skin cancers due to the drugs you are taking for your Crohn’s
HOW TO PREPARE FOR THE APPOINTMENT ?
If you are experiencing any one or more of symptoms, visit your physician who may further refer you to a best gastroenterology surgery doctor in Hyderabad. You will definitely have a lot of queries.
Here are a few pointers to consider:
Pre-appointment Restrictions : When you have an appointment, make sure to ask if you are supposed to follow any do’s and don’ts
Make a Note of the Symptoms : Discuss your symptoms irrespective of them being related or unrelated.
Other Important Issues : Mention any other issues you have such as stress or other changes that you have with regards to your life, work etc.
Medications : Inform him if you are taking any other medications for your BP, diabetes etc.
Write Down Questions : Do make a list of the questions that you may want to ask. Discuss everything in detail. Do not separate them as the most or the least important questions and ignore the least important ones. The questions that you may want to ask should include :
- What has led to these symptoms ?
- Are there any other causes for these symptoms to occur ?
- What are the tests that you may need to take ?
- Are there any preparations that you may have to do prior taking those tests ?
- Can symptoms improve or will it get chronic ?
- Are there any medications that you may have to avoid ?
- Are there any other options that you can prefer or is there any other alternative for a primary approach or treatment ?
- Do you have to follow a certain diet ?
- Is there any other genetic alternative for the medicine prescribed ?
- What are the websites that can give more information on the disease ?
- Are there any books or brochures that can help you know about the disease ?
Should you have to have to take up these tests now and then ?
It will help if you take someone along as he/she may help you remember in case you miss out on anything doctor has told you when you met him.
WHAT TO EXPECT FROM YOUR DOCTOR ?
Your doctor may ask you several questions to analyse your health condition. It may include :
- When was the first time you experienced these symptoms ?
- Are the symptoms repetitive ?
- Are they affecting your routine activities ?
- How bad are these symptoms ?
- Have you observed what may increase your symptoms ?
- Do you smoke ?
- Do you take any non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen, aspirin etc.
WHAT ARE TESTS AND PROCEDURES INVOLVED ?
A qualified gastroenterologist would combine endoscopy with biopsies and other radiological tests to confirm a diagnosis of Crohn’s. The Crohn's disease treatment centres would ask you to go through these tests to make a definitive diagnosis. The tests include :
Blood Tests : You will be asked to take a blood test to make sure you are not suffering from anaemia or any other infection.
Faecal Occult Blood Test : Your doctor may ask you to provide a stool sample so that he can check if there is blood in your stools.
The procedures toward diagnosis include :
Colonoscopy : A thin lighted tube with a camera is sent into your colon. It allows you to see the entire area and can take a sample for analysis. If you see the presence of granulomas inside the tissue sample then it is a confirmation that you have Crohn’s disease.
Flexible Sigmoidoscopy : A lighted camera is sent through your colon to view the last section of your colon which is called the sigmoid.
Computerised Tomography : A CT scan gives clear images than an X-Ray. These give clear images of the inside and outside of your bowel. An enterography CT is a test used to take images of your smaller bowel.
MRI or Magnetic Resonance Imaging : It uses magnetic field and radio waves to take images of your organs such as colon. It is mostly used to check for fistulas around the anal area or in the small intestine.
Capsule Endoscopy : You will swallow a capsule like camera that takes pictures while in transit in your system which you can see in a small screen on your belt which can later be downloaded and viewed for analysis. The camera will exit through your stools.
Double Balloon Endoscopy: When the capsule endoscopy shows any abnormalities, this test is adopted. This has a longer scope that reaches the smaller bowel.
Small Bowel Imaging: You swallow a drink that has barium in it. The barium will give clear images and thus helps in the analysis through the images taken from x-rays, CT’s, and MRI’s etc.
Why KIMS ?
KIMS is one of the best hospitals for Crohn's disease treatment as they make a definitive analysis of your condition with a combination of tests. The famous doctors for Crohn's disease treatment attend to you and ensure that you attain remission as soon as possible. Our famous gastroenterologists in Hyderabad and Secunderabad have the skill, experience and the ingenuity to tackle a complicated disease like Crohn’s